Tuesday 1000 hours: The dogs are escorted to Doggie Camp. Sniff
1100 hours: Moi arrives punctually, we drive about one mile and must needs turn around (my wallet is on the console of my car).
1200 hours: I am safely deposited at the Albuquerque International Sunport
1444 hours: US Air departs on time. I complete reading Newsweek as we land in Phoenix and I traverse miles of airport to get to B17.
1644 hours: (time change) I depart PHX for a 50 minute flight to PSP
This is the view. Can you say "Moonscape"!? Little did I know that I would be driving through this incredible desolate desert.
1750 hours landed in the middle of a humongus Golf Course in the desert, unbelievable.
I was immediately picked up by my very grateful friend and we drove east to the Morongo Valley past the most amazing Wind Farm. It was like a scene from Star Wars. I was sure that it must have been a Disney Pixar creation. Literally Mile after mile of turbines silently turning.
"This wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San Bernadino Mountains contains more than 4000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. "
"The largest of these windmills stands 150 feet tall with blades half the legend of a football field. The compartments at the top containing the generator, hub and gearbox weigh 30,000 to 45,000 pounds. A wind turbine's cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts an hour - the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month. Almost all of the currently installed wind electric generation capacity is in California."
We finally arrive and I get a brief tour then she continues her packing.
2000 hours: we prepare steaks, salad and grilled potatoes.
2300 hours: I crash into bed. toss and turn, but finally sleep.
Wednesday, 0600 hours: Everybody up, the land lady comes down to help load the queen size Tempurpedic into the trailer. More boxes go in -then...the 4 cats....
Slight mishap with cat and staircase= sprained ankle. Animals ( 4cats, 1 whippit and 1 parrot)situated in back seat of truck.
0830 one last stop to feed the horses and say goodbye.
0900 hours a quick stop in Joshua Tree for Croissandwiches and I assumed the driving responsibilities for the next FIFTEEN HOURS. (my friend was sidelined with her foot elevated with and icepack.
1300 hours: stopped for gas in Needles, Ca ("the Hot spot in the nation today...")
pit stop, dog walk, get Large Fountain Drink (WT)
Hours of tawking. Pit stops. Desert. Radio. Cats yelling.
1800hours: Dinner at Denny's in Flagstaff. Back on the road
Sometime we crossed the New Mexico Border and I felt adrenalized. For a while.
Finally we spotted the lights of ABQ and I was delerious as we started down 9 miles hill, until the red and blue lights...
2 police cars pulled us over near 4th st. My hands were shaking so badly that I couldn't get my license out. He said I was swerving between lanes and I explained that the trailer was jerking. He looked in the back at the cat carrier, the parrot cage and the dog...then the two crazy old women and left without looking at my license, telling me to pull off to a gas station and get the trailer checked.
" Yes. sir" We did, nothing was open so we proceeded cautiously --with me wide awake!
Thursday, 0130Hours: Grousemoor Manor. All Safe and accounted for. The animals were tended and everyone slept.
By 1000 hours, my friend was on her way up to Glorieta and her final destination.
1330 hours I picked up my very excited dogs and we all camped out on the couch and snoozed.
It was a challenge and I'm thrilled to have completed it, but I will think carefully about that many hours in one crack again.